Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Len Lye : Swinging the Lambeth Walk

Len Lye : Swinging the Lambeth Walk
"The Lambeth Walk was a popular dance in London in 1939 and included a hand gesture with the Yiddish "Oi!".

New Zealand-born filmmaker Len Lye edited together different versions of the music (including Django Reinhardt on guitar and Stephane Grapelli on violin), and combined them with a variety of abstract images painted and scratched directly onto film, without using a camera.

The film was made with public money - scandalizing some government bureaucrats!"

This work is part of a collection of 80 of New Zealand's best music videos, curated by broadcaster James Coleman, has been added to nzonscreen.com today. More are promised in the weeks ahead.

Len Lye - Govett Brewster, New Plymouth, NZ
I adore Len Lye. So does Govett Brewster who have a fabulous collection of his work as well as being home to his archive and the Len Lye Foundation. For more on all this, as well as news on the planned Len Lye Centre, see here.


1. Len Lye on You Tube
Swinging the Lambeth Walk is also available on YouTube, here, courtesy of Govett Brewster. There are also other Len Lye films on view.

We are the Lambeth Boys - extract -

British Film Institute: - see You Tube channel, here


Anonymous said...

The NZ Film archive has just done this at 100 Classic Kiwi Clips!

Why are there two different organizations - both receiving crown funding - duplicating the effort and duplicating locations!

Can't we work together!

Brenda Leeuwenberg said...

The NZ On Screen music video collection has been in the works for quite a long time, it was always intended to add these to the 450+ tv and film titles that are available on the site already.

The efforts are shared, more so than duplicated. It is relatively simple to get a digital copy of a file and it does not harm the product to be in more than one location - it's all about getting NZ content out there as many ways as we can!

NZ On Screen links music videos to titles and people, and is creating a collection that highlights the talents of people in the industry. Our focus is different than that of the Film Archive and we certainly do not intend to duplicate the excellent work they do.

Paul Reynolds said...

Great question - and terrific to see BL on this blog with such a quick answer.

I totally endorse her point that 'it doesn't harm the product to be in more than one location'

To that end I would be really stoked if both organisations could start offering an embed option - then I can be helping to spread their reach directly, instead of always having to re-locate back to NZ Screen, or NZ Film

The irony in this instance is that the Len Ly, Swinging the Lambeth Walk, is also available on You Tube, where I can get an embed.
This was done by Govett Brewster

I even thought about using it - but decided that it was better to send people to NZ OnsScreen.

See the You Tube link

It has been viewed 30,236 times!

So - can we have embeds please from both of you!!

Brenda Leeuwenberg said...

Ah Paul, this old chestnut! :)

We are certainly trying to get the embed option for material that we publish on NZ On Screen. Unfortunately it's not simple.

The thing about YouTube is, that people just publish and be damned to get stuff up there. In fact many of the music videos we have published in our collection are already available on YouTube.

However we have licence agreements with APRA, AMCOS, RIANZ and we have had to get signed licences from the record companies and distributors to put these clips on NZ On Screen. Doing things legally is quite a mission!

Rest assured though, the embed option is well and truly on our radar and we'll do whatever we can to make it happen - I'll keep you posted.

Paul Reynolds said...

Thanks Brenda
For the record, as I understand it, the Len Lye, Swinging the Lambeth Walk is totally legal.

By the by , I can't find it on NZ Film?

Any clues?

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